Hotel San Francesco al Monte is the result of the restoration of a sixteenth Franciscan monastery: Once Santa Lucia al Monte, it was founded in 1557 by Friar Agostino da Miglionico, a 'poor monk' of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, also called 'Barbanti' for their flowing beards. There are still important traces of the past that contribute to the enchantment of the place, such as the Chapel of San Giovan Giuesppe della Croce who passed the last twelve years of his life at Santa Lucia al Monte. He died in the monastery and is buried there: his cell, still impregnated with his memories, has been faithfully preserved and can be visited. Evocative and important spaces from the ancient complex have been skilfully preserved, such as the oven where the bread was baked and the frescoed refectory that still seems to resound with the far-off echo of the prayers and readings that accompanied mealtimes. Here and there you will find fragments of frescoes, old majolica and decorations that testify to the place's artistic heritage. The decor is characterized by measured elegance: delicate colours, lamps and classic furnishings. The top floor of the hotel brushes against the San Martino hill, an authentic piece of countryside in the middle of the city. A roof garden has been created here that is without equal: there is a 360 view of the city, the gulf, Vesuvius and Capri on one side, the hill and vineyard of San Martino on the other and the Carthusian monastery of the same name and the tuffaceous Castle of Sant'Elmo, above. A swimming pool was installed in the most scenic spot, carved out of the tuffaceous rock, almost camouflaged by the rocks and greenery. A second pool, with hot water and hammam, awaits guests in a hidden grotto. San Francesco's 3 restaurants give you plenty of choice. La Terrazza dei Barbanti offers spectacular views of the gulf, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine on the 4th floor. To enjoy a historical setting head down to the monastery's wine cellar for private lunches and wine tasting. Alternatively order a meal or drink on the 7th-floor terrace vineyard.